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C40 COP26 Daily Briefing
Week 1
Looking back at Sunday, October 31, 2021
Welcome to C40 COP26 Daily Briefings, a new C40 service to inform you of what's happening at the 26th UN Conference on Climate Change taking place in Glasgow, Scotland from October 31 to November 12, 2021. This daily COP26 briefing recaps the activities and announcements of the day and lets you know what's coming up the following day to ensure you are kept fully up to date on all COP26 discussions. You are receiving this email because you are a C40 member, or a C40 partner, or have joined the Cities Race to Zero campaign. If you do not wish to receive our emails, please unsubscribe using the link at the bottom of this briefing. We hope these briefings will help you understand what's at stake at COP26. Happy reading!
What happened in the formal COP26 intergovernmental process?
  • COP26 officially kicked off with its Opening Ceremony and Parties officially adopted the COP agenda with no delay. 
  • A number of opening statements saw Parties provide further clarity on how COP26 decisions could accelerate mitigation ambition in the 2020s:
    • AOSIS allied for a formal platform to take stock of commitments toward 1.5°C and called for a formal decision to end major economy fossil fuel subsidies by 2023.
    • The Independent Alliance of Latin America and the Caribbean (AILAC) called for a decision for all parties to reduce emissions by 45% by 2030 against 2010 levels in line with the IPCC.
    • Many developing country groups highlighted that pre-2020 ambition as it stands still undermines principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities. They also highlighted the failure of meeting the $100 billion and called for a new post-2025 finance target to be set. As expected, finance is already shaping up to be a key issue for this COP.
    • LMDCs proposed establishing a taskforce to meet throughout 2022 to identify where Annex 1 major emitters could make compensatory emissions reductions.
  • New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the country will reduce its net greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030 from 2005 levels, which is higher than the target set in 2015. However, climate groups are criticizing the target as being too weak given it should be at least 80% reduction from 1990 levels, and as two-thirds of the required emissions cuts could come from purchasing offshore climate offsets or other global reductions purchased by New Zealand, rather than a domestic cut.
What did cities do in Glasgow today?
  • Throughout COP, C40 and ARUP will host a space in the Green Zone to showcase leading climate solutions from 11 C40 cities: Auckland, Beijing, Bogotá, Istanbul, Jakarta, Lima, London, Los Angeles, Mumbai, Nairobi, and Washington D.C. The exhibition can also be visited virtually online.
  • On the first day of COP, which coincided with the UN World Cities Day, the Local Government and Municipal Authorities (LGMA) launched the LGMA Glasgow Time4MultilevelAction Roadmap: implementing multilevel action in the age of climate emergency, a document that sets out a four-point path for subnational advocacy: 1) Multilevel action as the new normal in the next phase of the Paris Agreement 2) Localize national, global and private climate finance to seize the urban opportunity for bold action in cities & regions 3) Just climate action for all and 4) Stepping up subnational engagement in UNFCCC. It was presented in a press conference by Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council and ICLEI President Mayor Frank Cownie of Des Moines (USA), among other local and regional leaders. 
  • Hosted by the Scottish government and convened by ICLEI, The LGMA Multilevel Action Pavilion at COP26 is a hybrid (in-person and virtual) pavilion and the main stage of cities and regions within COP26 Blue Zone. You can consult the two-week Pavilion’s agenda and register here to have full virtual access to the sessions, as well as to receive daily bulletins. For more info on LGMA activity in Glasgow, please visit (in partnership with ICLEI).
Other announcements/updates?
  • The G20 Leaders Summit concluded in Rome with the release of the G20 Leaders Declaration that saw all of the G20 (including China) making some modest but positive advancements related to climate change, as well as agreeing on a long awaited global minimum corporate tax for multinational corporations. The leaders reaffirmed the importance of continuing to commit to 1.5°C, on achieving carbon neutrality by mid-century, and on accelerating climate action throughout this decade. They also pledged to scale up climate finance for adaptation and improve access, and committed to mobilize the $100 billion no later than 2023. On coal, the G20 only reaffirmed its commitment to stop financial investment abroad, but made no advancement on phasing out coal domestically. Cities are included in a standalone paragraph on circular economy, and the need to align COVID-19 recovery plans with climate goals is explicitly recognized - something mayors called for in the C40 Mayors Agenda for a Green and Just Recovery and Urban 20 Communique
  • Rome saw the G20 commit to accelerate climate action across mitigation, adaptation, and finance in this critical decade. Glasgow, in the presence of countries most at risk and least responsible, will need to see them bring clear timelines to back-up their promises. Overall, this G20 Summit delivered a performance that was strong on the economy, significant on health, and moving in the right direction on climate change. UN Secretary-General António Guterres explained that he “leaves Rome with his hopes unfulfilled but at least they are not buried,” suggesting that if bolstered by acceptable outcomes from leaders during the World Leaders Summit, this G20 Summit has the potential to set the rest of COP26 on a positive enough path.
  • Over 800,000 people have signed on to an emergency call from leading youth activists Greta Thunberg, Vanessa Nakate, Dominika Lasota, and Mitzi Tan calling on world leaders at COP26 to deliver immediate emissions cuts and phase out fossil fuel finance and exploration. Youth delegates also intervened during COP26 President Alok Sharma’s speech, calling for an end to the UK’s support of the Cambo oil field. 
What's coming up today?
  • More than 120 Heads of State gather in Glasgow at the COP26 World Leaders Summit (WLS), generating high expectations in terms of climate ambition, action and finance for 1.5°C, and green and just recovery.
  • C40 Chair and Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti will make an important announcement on Cities Race to Zero at the end of Day 1 of the WLS.
  • A group of leading C40 mayors will arrive in Glasgow from London by train!
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